Sapporo residents to be asked to stay home amid virus surge

Japan Times -- Nov 17
Hokkaido's local government heads agreed Monday to ask residents of Sapporo to refrain from nonessential outings following back-to-back days of record coronavirus infections in the region.

Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki and Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto agreed in an emergency meeting to urge the city's residents to not travel to other areas of the island, with 189 new infections reported in the prefecture Monday.

Hokkaido, a popular tourist spot known for its cold temperatures and large snowfalls, has recently been experiencing a rapid rise in daily infections, with more than 200 cases reported on four consecutive days through Sunday. It reported a record 236 cases Thursday.

Sapporo is expected to raise its alert for the pandemic to the fourth level, the second highest of the five on the prefecture's coronavirus scale, which indicates a rapid surge in infections and a need to implement measures to avert a great burden being put on medical facilities.

Raising the level will enable authorities to request limits be placed on operational capacities of facilities that have failed to implement measures against the pandemic.

- Japan Times